• December 24, 2014

Cove kids have knack for adapting to change

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Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014 4:30 am

I’m always amazed by the resiliency of kids.

Seems like no matter the situation, little can keep them down. I’m not saying kids always make the right choices or excel in their endeavors, but they know how to adapt quickly.

I’m old, set in my ways and hate change, so I have to applaud today’s youth, who can thrive in continually shifting situations.

It happens all over the state and nation, but I see it clear as day at Copperas Cove High School.

In football, the Bulldawgs lost standout running back Vondareaz King to an injury for a majority of the season and completely rebuilt their offensive line, but still managed to make the playoffs for a 10th consecutive time.

On the boys basketball court, Cory Scott, last season’s 8-5A All-District Offensive Player of the Year and the program’s first player to commit to a Division I school, graduated – leaving a large hole in the roster. Nevertheless, the Bulldawgs finished third in the district standings, returning to the postseason in back-to-back years after suffering through a five-year drought.

The Lady Bulldawgs basketball team lost their leading scorer and their head coach during the offseason, but still managed to produce an impressive campaign, falling one game shy of reaching the playoffs while playing under their third head coach in four years.

Despite graduating eight seniors, under first-year head coach Dusty Brittain, Copperas Cove’s baseball team has already produced more victories through the first 12 games of 2014 than it did all of last season.

Meanwhile, on the softball diamond, the Lady Bulldawgs earned their first playoff berth since 2008 last season, but then lost their head coach as Shelly Hayes stepped down following the team’s loss to Mansfield Timberview in the bi-district round. Bryan Waller inherited the program over the summer, however, and the softball team is adapting well, sitting at 11-10 overall and 3-2 in district following a 14-10 victory at Ellison on Tuesday afternoon.

Sure, some might argue teams undergo changes every single year as players graduate and underclassmen move up the ranks. I can’t disagree. That is simply the nature of high school athletics, but I’m still impressed.

New coaches bring entirely different philosophies and approaches to the game with them when they arrive on campus. Familiar roles can become foreign with the reconstruction of rosters, and locker room chemistry can be disrupted with the addition or subtraction of any small variable.

Whether it is merely the nature of the beast or not, changing on the fly is never easy. It takes dedication, commitment, faith and a little luck to successfully survive a team overhaul, and the process often proves very difficult. Just ask professional athletes.

Look at what happened to the Chicago Bulls when Michael Jordan left after his second three-peat. It took the team six seasons to get back to the playoffs. And Dallas Cowboys fans don’t even want to be reminded of the trials and tribulations of America’s Team since Jimmy Johnson walked away in 1993.

I understand these are examples of some of the best ever at their respective professions, but at a high school level, players and coaches serve equally integral roles, and when there are voids at key positions, the collective performance tends to drop.

At Copperas Cove, however, teams have avoided such slumps, and all involved deserve credit for maintaining or improving on previous seasons.

There is no doubt, change is difficult, especially when it involves an entire group of people coming together for a common cause.

Luckily for Copperas Cove, its athletes have a knack for adapting.

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